The Zimbabwean newspaper Sunday Mail claims that Voice of Zimbabwe, the county’s world radio station [sic] appears to be reaching all parts of the globe judging by the correspondence it is receiving from countries as far apart as Brazil and India. The newspaper says the station, which broadcasts on shortwave in the 60 metre band (evenings) and 49 metre band (daytime), is also providing Zimbabweans in Binga and other outlying areas that cannot receive FM broadcasts, with a radio service.
The paper quotes Voice of Zimbabwe station manager Shadreck Mupeni as saying last week that letters have been received from as far afield as Brazil, Japan, India, Australia, Poland and Greece. Many of them, he claims, are from listeners who have expressed an interest in visiting Zimbabwe, with some of them asking the station to broadcast programmes and advertisements about the country’s tourist attractions. “The letters received recently have all been positive. They have confirmed the signal quality is good.”
Voice of Zimbabwe began broadcasting to the world from Gweru on May 25 2007. It is Zimbabwe’s first international broadcast station and currently broadcasts news and news analysis programmes from 6pm to 9pm (1600-1900 UTC). From June 30, it will be broadcasting a repeat of these programmes from 6am to 9am (0400-0700 UTC). During the rest of the day and evening the station broadcasts local music, which has turned out to be a boon for Zimbabweans not only in Binga and Mutoko but anywhere else, if they have a radio that receives shortwave transmissions.
Andy Sennitt comments: It’s interesting that the countries mentioned all have a significant number of shortwave listeners/DXers who routinely report to radio stations in an attempt to get their reception verified by a QSL card. It is technically impossible to provide a “world service” with a single transmitter operating in the 60 or 49 metre bands. Apparently the Voice of Zimbabwe is confusing DX reports with letters from people genuinely interested in the station’s programming.